Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Pioneer Woman: Parmesan Crash Hot Potatoes

These little potatoes seem to be all over the internet lately, in various incarnations, care of your friendly neighborhood Aussies.  So this is my version.  Butter?  Check.  Cheese?  Check.  Salt?  Check.  Looks good to me.  You are cleared to enjoy a potato side dish that is both fluffy and crispy.  Thank you, Australia (I know sometimes we forget you're down there, but we really appreciate your continuing culinary efforts.)

Parmesan Crash Hot Potatoes
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman blog

1½ pounds small potatoes (about 15 potatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dried parsley and savory (or other herbs of choice), to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the potatoes and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato. With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Sprinkle each potato with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, dried herbs, and Parmesan cheese.  Place a small pat of butter on the top of each potato.

Bake in a 425°F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dorothy Huang: Beef with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce

I think pretty much everyone's favorite Chinese food dish is beef with broccoli.  I'm more of an orange chicken girl, but I can definitely see the appeal.  It's a very non-threatening plate of food for anyone who is a little scared of what might be lurking in the kitchen of your local Chinese restaurant (chicken feet? intestines? dog?).  Oh, and that's probably also why they generally leave off the "in Oyster Sauce" part, too.  Luckily it's also really easy to make if you need something quick and tasty and you don't feel like waiting an hour for the delivery guy to finally show up with your partially cold and congealed food.

Note: Make sure your oyster sauce actually has oysters in it.  It should probably be the first ingredient.  Yes, there are some oyster sauces on the market with zero oyster.  Big foul in my book.

Beef with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce
From Dorothy Huang

½ pound beef steak, sliced very thinly (such as top sirloin, flank steak, or NY strip)
2 teaspoons ginger root, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
½ pound broccoli crowns, cut into small pieces
3 dried Chinese black mushrooms, soaked until soft and sliced into strips (optional)

2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
Dash ground white pepper

6 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Mix sliced beef with marinade and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Heat wok with oil and add ginger and garlic when ready. Sauté briefly, then add marinated beef and stir. After two minutes, add broccoli crowns and stir. After another couple of minutes, add mushrooms (if using) and sauce, stirring well. Serve with rice as soon as meat is cooked through.

Makes 2 servings

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friendly's and Serious Eats: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae

Do you know what this is?  This, my friends, is ice cream sundae perfection.  This is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae from Friendly's restaurant.  Do you know how sad I am that there are none of these anywhere near where I live?  Then again, I'd probably gain 50 pounds by year's end if there were.  But now I can make them at home, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae
Adapted from Serious Eats

Peanut Butter Sauce:
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Hot Fudge Sauce:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

12 Reese's Peanut Butter cups
3 pints vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Maraschino cherries with stems for garnish (optional)

Make Peanut Butter Sauce: In medium heavy duty saucepan, stir cream, sugar, butter, and salt over medium heat to dissolve. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.

Make Hot Fudge: In medium saucepan, stir chocolate, corn syrup, water, sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and salt together over medium low heat until combined and melted. Increase heat to medium and bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla off-heat. Allow to cool slightly.

Assemble sundaes: Set 4 to 5 whole peanut butter cups aside; chop remaining. Layer each 4 to 5 tall sundae glass with 3 scoops ice cream, sauces, and chopped peanut butter cups. Top with whipped cream and cherry (if using) and a peanut butter cup.

Makes 4 to 5 sundaes